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Spy-swap to go-ahead after guilty pleas in New York

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Spy-swap to go-ahead after guilty pleas in New York


Ten people who have admitted living in America whilst being Russian spies are on their way to Moscow.

In a spy-swap expected to take place soon, they will be traded for four prisoners in Russia who have been imprisoned for spying for the US.

This Cold-War style drama unfolded when the ten were all arrested by US authorities just over a week ago. They all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act as an agent for a foreign government in a federal court in Manhattan. Now both governments have agreed to go ahead with the switch.

Believed to already be in Vienna for the trade is Igor Sutyagin. In 2004, the arms control analyst was sentenced to 15 years in a Russian prison for allegedly passing on classified information to the US. Released by President Dmitry Medvedev, he is one of the four due to go back to America. The other three, who were all career intelligence officers, were also given pardons by the Kremlin.

However, one man who will not be part of the exchange is Christoper Metsos. He is believed to be the paymaster for the spy-ring in America. After travelling with a fake Canadian passport, he was arrested in Cyprus. Since posting bail he has disappeared. It is thought Metsos may be hiding in the Turkish north of the island, which has no extradition treaty with the US.

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